Archive | September, 2012

Follow the Leader

30 Sep

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Mazda Races to the End of an Era

30 Sep

Saturday’s Rolex Sports Car Series season finale at Lime Rock Park will mark the end of an era for one of the most successful cars in GRAND-AM history.

With 18 class victories, including two GT titles at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and a sweep of the 2010 drivers, teams and manufacturers’ championships, Mazda’s RX-8 will take a final bow this weekend after a storied five-year run.

“There is not a Mazda employee, racer, or race fan who does not hear the rotary exhaust note as our special theme song,” said John Doonan, Mazda Motorsports director.

“With two Rolex 24 Hour GT wins, and a championship in 2010, we are hoping to close out the GRAND-AM GT chapter with a win at Lime Rock. I know that everyone at SpeedSource, Team Sahlen’s, Dempsey Racing and Yellow Dragon would like to be the one to deliver that win.”

Five rotary-powered beasts are expected to take the green flag on Saturday, including the flagship No. 70 SpeedSource entry of Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay, whose Florida-based organization built and developed the RX-8 into a championship-winning car.

This weekend, the SpeedSource entry will carry a commemorative hood, listing each of the victories and the drivers who achieved them.

The RX-8’s most recent trip to victory lane came just three weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, when Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker gave Team Sahlen’s its first-ever GT class win in the team’s second-to-last appearance in the highly competitive category.

While it may be the end of the road for the RX-8, which concluded production in 2011, the rotary will live on in the Star Mazda Championship next year.

In the sports car ranks, Mazda will focus efforts on its new SKYACTIV-D engine platform, which will be seen in GRAND-AM’s new GX category in 2013, as well as LMP2 worldwide.

“Lime Rock will be the end of a chapter – but not the book, for the Mazda rotary,” Doonan added. “While rotary production is on hiatus in Hiroshima, the program is far from dead. Work continues on the next-generation rotary engine, and we look forward to sharing information with you about it, when we can.

“Right now, though, our 2013 GRAND-AM and ALMS programs will be focused on the new SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel race engine, another industry-first for Mazda.”

Dempsey Racing was announced earlier this year as the first intended LMP2 customer of the SpeedSource-developed 2.2-liter diesel turbo, while the identity of the GRAND-AM GX-class entry, which will also be SKYACTIV-D-powered, is expected to be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

John Dagys is SPEED.com’s Sportscar Racing Reporter, focusing on all major domestic and international championships. You can follow him on Twitter @johndagys or email him at askdagys@gmail.com

Blitz R34 GTR

30 Sep

Ah, memories….this was a very well publicized project car back about 12 years ago

Track Ready

30 Sep


Endless brakes looking very much at home on a Porsche

Contact us at z1sales@z1auto.com for all your Endless Brakes/Zeal Suspension needs. From pads and fluid to full brake kits and coilovers. When nothing but the best will suffice.

Come Drift Away

30 Sep


…there aren’t nearly enough Initial D DVD’s out there

Braid Wheels for your Porsche

30 Sep

Whether your Porsche is a classic or modern, street or race, rally or tarmac, Braid makes a wheel to set it apart from the crowd. A wide range of sizes, custom widths and offsets to accodomate whatever you can dream up! Your world-class car deserves nothing less than world-class wheels.

Contact us at z1sales@z1auto.com to arrange a set for your car.

Cusco Introduces Zero 3 Coilovers for High Performance Street, Clubsport and Full Competition Use

29 Sep

Cusco Zero3 Coilover Range

One more new product from Cusco Japan. Their Zero 3 coilovers take all their years of suspension development to the next level.

The Zero 3 are the replacement for the former Zero 2R’s, which were wildly popular and widely praised for their combined performance and adjustability. The Zero 3 takes that concept and expands upon in many important ways.

The Zero 3 line is divided into 3 categories. Zero 3S, Zero 3 Comp, and Zero 3X.

The Zero 3S is designed for a sports car, or sports sedan, primarily being used on the road with high performance tires, but that may also see some track days. They are up to 24 way dampening adjustable monotubes (varies by application), 2 way height adjustable (spring preload independant of stroke), and are available in custom spring rates to suit your particular needs. Includes mounts, that are either camber adjustable pillowballs, or specially hardened rubber, depending on application.

The Zero 3Comp are valved more aggressively, and were designed with R Compound tires and more track use in mind. Again, featuring a monotube design, these are 24×3 dampening adjustable (up to 24 way rebound and 24 way independant compression (both low and high speed are adjustable, varies by application). Height is of course able to be set independant of stroke, and upper mounts are included and vary by spec according to application. Custom spring rates are available as well.

The Zero 3X are the ultimate setup for competition use. Maximum adjustability and performance with all the features you would expect from a full motorsport level coilover

All can be combined with Cusco’s E-Con Electronic dampening adjuster (allows in-car adjustment of damper settings), and all are fully rebuildable as well.

Click the application chart above for full application listings. Because of the specialized nature of these coilovers, we suggest contacting us at z1sales@z1auto.com or (631)863-3820 to discuss your particular application, and work out pricing, details, etc.

New BRZ/FRS/FT86 Throttle Upgrades

29 Sep

Cusco has introduced a new big bore throttle body for the BRZ/FRS/FT86. This is a brand new unit, and a direct replacement for stock. It features a 2mm larger butterfly vs stock for increased air volume, and better throttle response. Best part, there is NO CORE! So no downtime! Click the picture to get yours on the way

Cusco also has their drive by wire throttle controller available as well. This unit plugs into the throttle control switch and allows you to tailor how fast the throttle responds to a given pedal effort. Has 4 modes, including 3 sport and one for fuel economy. Also cancels itself when you’re going in reverse. Once again, click the pic for orders!

Cusco Street Spec A Coilover for BRZ/FR-S

29 Sep

Cusco Street Spec A Coilover

Cusco has just introduced their latest Street Spec A coilover for the FT86/BRZ/FR-S.

If you’re enthusiasts like we are, you’ve done the whole “slam it on the ground, ride quality be-damned” thing before. You’re older now, and wiser and you’ve just dropped a grip of cash on your new Toy-Baru. There is no point in ruining the handling and comfort of your new car with half-assed coilovers. The Street Spec A, as the name implies, is designed to give maximum traction, comfort and performance for your primarily street driven car. It’s 40 way dampening adjustable, and allows you lower your car from 1/2 inch lower to 1.98 inches up front and .01 inch lower to 1.37 inches out back.

These all feature Cusco’s new low-noise rubber seats, with full dust shields and specially designed bump stops. They re-use the stock upper mounts, so no worrying about cheesy pillowball bearings making knocking noises next year. T6061 lockrings ensure years of reliable adjustability, and specially coated bodies will help these survive the elements, no matter where you live.

Priced at $1530 for the full set. Contact us at z1sales@z1auto.com to order yours!

Legends of the Euro Motorway

23 Sep

Some pics of the cars on display. Some rare machines inside!

The event was pretty much organized by marque. It’s a huge propery so enty of room to walk around and get a food look at the cars. Great place for an event.

Pair of 500E’s. A true sleeper.

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Big 6.3 liter V8 in an otherwise stately looking sedan.

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Colorful cars and characters!

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Executive suite

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Onto the Porsche’s

This first one is a very rare car. 911 ClubSport in a gorgeous dark blue. Only 5k original miles.

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Right next to it was one of the few RS America’s on display. Another rare version of the venerable 911. A factory lightweight intended to go racing.

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80’s Baby

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A real rare treat: genuine 2.7RS

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Couple spots away was this stripped out 911 that was labelled as a prototype. Will have to do some digging on what it is as I’m not quite sure

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A few spots away was this 911 Sport Classic. With more than a few styling nods to the 2.7RS

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911 Speedster

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The lone 928 at the event. This one is an ’87 S4. Still a head turner

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968 was the only one of its kind there as well. This came in between the 944 and the Boxster in Porshe’s entry level lineup. Short lived run but a great looking car

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911 GT2 – future classic

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Original Turbo

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Early 911 Turbo

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Beautiful 911S

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Only a handful of Astons and the one McClaren from a dealership.

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Next up were the BMW’s

Seems the E30 is a very popular platform even today. And values keep going north. Many have 6 cylinder swaps from later M’s, some retained the original 4 banger.

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Wish I could have gotten a good shot of the car this seat belongs to. It was stunning with bright red paint, S54 swap, and the ubiquitous LM’s

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The first M5. Boxy but sexy

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Later M5…another iconic vehicle

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This very purple-ey 320i (or was it a 2002?) had an M swap

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A few cars were away from the rest of their group for some reason.

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Levity

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I wish the import guys could organize something similar out here instead of the obnoxious club music, import ehem-“model”, gaudy = trophy affairs that usually are out on this coast.

WTCC in the USA

23 Sep

If you want to see some bumper to bumper racing, the kind that is equal parts SCCA runoffs and the bumping and grinding scenes from Days of Thunder, then tune in to Speed Channel today at 10 PM Eastern tonight for WTCC.

World Touring Car Championship is non stop action with every major manufacturer participating. Chevrolet, Mercedes, BMW, Seat, Ford combine in a field that’s 30 cars deep. They bill themselves as “Real Cars, Real Racing”, and it really is. This is the 3rd most popular series in the world behind F1 and WRC and today’s race in Sonoma is the first time it’s in the US. Props to Speed for covering it same day.

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In the Heat of the Night

23 Sep

Hamilton could use a win, Alonso is first in points thusfar. Pit stop strategy is critical given how quickly the tires seem to fall off. Who will win?

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Iconic

22 Sep

Something about the legendary shape, the color scheme, the graphic design, that makes this truly a classic. Who knows if the JDM stuff we covet today will be as timeless 30 years on.

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Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

22 Sep

Not sure what it is about those big body Benz’s, but these have always looked good to me. This one in particular could easily have made an appearance in a Miami Vice episode back in the day. Love the blacked out trim, but non tinted windows.

Simple

22 Sep

The right combination of parts really makes a Z stand out. Not too sure how I feel about the hood but LM’s on anything always catch my attention